3 Vital Reasons Why Koi Fish Need A Pump

do koi fish need a pump?Koi fishes thrive in a pond as it can accommodate their size as well as provide an environment that will make it easy for them to breed. But do koi fish need a pump? You might think that since an outdoor pond is a natural set up, the oxygen will be enough for your koi fishes. But actually, the truth is far from this.

Koi fishes need a pump as the live plants in the pond are not enough to provide them with an abundant source of oxygen. As their population grows, the production of carbon dioxide also grows. A pump will ensure that there is enough oxygen, so your koi fishes will not go up the surface for air.

A lot of koi fish owners have been doing away with the pump, but breeders are leaning towards using a pump as they believe that it will make it easier for the koi fishes to go about their regular activity. Why leave their breathing capacity to chance, right?

So if you are still unsure when it comes to installing a pump in your koi fish pond, keep on reading to for more information!

Do Koi Fish Need A Pump?

As we have already established earlier, koi fishes need a pump. In order to enrich our discussion, we will also talk about the benefits of having a pump in your indoor or outdoor pond.

1. Proper Oxygenation

It is a common belief that carbon dioxide is not good to not only koi fishes but all fishes. But the truth is, carbon dioxide works with oxygen so that living organisms in the pond will thrive. It is only when there is an imbalance between the two, that it becomes harmful to your koi fishes.

What happens is that your koi fishes will breathe in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. In turn, the carbon dioxide is absorbed by the plants, and they will release oxygen. It is good to note that the oxygen that the plants produce are not consistent in amount.

It may or may not be sufficient for the breathing needs of your koi fishes.

This is where the pump comes in handy. First off, it is extremely difficult to replicate the plants found in the wild that are sure to provide sufficient oxygen. Another point is the fact that these plants cannot foster the useful microorganisms in the pond that will benefit your koi fishes.

When you have a pump, it will be in charge of those two processes.

The pump will give room for the microorganisms that are included in the nitrogen cycle as well as provide enough oxygen. In this way, carbon dioxide and oxygen levels will always be balanced.

More than that, having a pump can be helpful when the water temperature goes up to 80 °F or higher as the plants in the pond find it difficult to release oxygen at this temperature.

We also recommend reading this article: How long koi fish can survive without a pump!

do koi ponds need a pump?

2. Waste Management

Another good thing about having a pump is the fact that the water is continuously being filtered or at least there is some movement in the water that will help with waste management.

There are a variety of ways as to how waste in your pond can accumulate. Of course, there is the waste of your koi fishes, the food that was not eaten, and other conditions found in the pond like algae, moss, etc.

Having a lot of waste produces an extreme amount of carbon monoxide and ammonia that are dangerous to your koi fishes. They will not be able to breathe properly and the water will be too toxic for their immune systems to handle.

Needless to say, cleaning the pond will not be enough, especially as you cannot deep clean it every day. Further, deep cleaning regularly is not recommended as you will remove beneficial bacteria in the pond.

If you have a pump, the water will always be filtered and even though it cannot get rid of all the waste, at least there will not be an accumulation of waste. The waste that is left behind will just be dealt with through natural processes.

3. Koi Fish Physiology

This is pretty self-explanatory, especially if you have owned a lot of koi fishes. You already know that they can get really big, especially the females.

Even though they do breed based on the season, they still manage to breed successfully and if you do not pay attention, you might just be surprised that the number of koi fishes in your pond has already doubled!

Given their size, it also accounts for how much oxygen they need. Just like humans, an adult needs more oxygen than toddlers. The same thing goes for your koi fishes, the bigger they get, the more oxygen they need.

Further, the more koi fishes you have, the more there is competition for oxygen.

What To Look For In A Pump

Let us now discuss the factors that are important to know when you are going to choose a pump. Keep in mind that it should also pair well with how much maintenance you can do as well as the needs of your pond.


When you go to a pet store or online pet shop, you will see that there are generally two types of pumps and they are categorized based on how they are placed in your pond. The first one is that it can be mounted on the outside of your pond.

The second one is that it can be placed under your pond water.

A lot of people choose the one that can be placed underneath the pond as it is more aesthetically pleasing to the eyes but it is actually safer to use the one that can be mounted on the ground. The reason for this is that the possible injury to your koi fishes are minimized.

Some of their delicate parts might get sucked in the intake of the pump while it is working underneath the water.

In such a case that you are worried about how it looks from the outside when you opt for the one that can be mounted outside, you can simply choose one that has piping on the outside so that it will not look too obvious.why do koi fish need a pump?

Filtration System

The pumps that are sold for ponds do not necessarily have filtration systems. Most of them tend to aid in circulating the water so that the oxygen levels will be always sufficient. Therefore, choose a pump based on the needs of your pond.

If you see that waste tends to build up fast, it is better to choose a pump that has a filtration system.

Having a filtration system in your pump will also help in those times when the water turns murky quickly. In the event that you chose a pump that does not have a filtration system, you do not have to worry as there are filtration systems that can be attached separately to your pump.

Energy Sufficiency

This is the part where we are simply looking out for your wallet. However funny that may sound, keep in mind that the pump runs continuously and if you have a high energy pump, you might just have a heart attack when your electric bill comes in.

The rule of thumb is, the higher the pump wattage, the higher the energy it consumes.

If you are trying to save on electricity, it is best to go with a pump that has low wattage. You just have to make sure that it will still be able to properly process the water in your pond.

Also do not forget to think about the other elements that can be powered by your pump, like a waterfall in your pond. If you have extra elements, then it is good to go for high wattage.

Just keep in mind that a pump that already has a filtration system built into it consumes less energy than having a separate pump and a filtration system. So make your choices wisely as your wallet will definitely feel it if you make the wrong choice.

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